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Money Mondays: Summer Jobs

What do we need to know about summer jobs?

There are two reasons we are talking about summer jobs. First, a lot has changed since we were kids. What teens and young adults do during the summer has become much more varied. But more importantly, for those who have kids who do have summer jobs, it can be a great opportunity to instill sound financial habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

How are today’s teens spending their summers?

The standout here is that a much smaller number are spending them working. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the majority of American teens aren’t looking for a summer job at all. According to the BLS data, just 43% of 16- to 19-year-olds were either working or looking for a job in July 2016 — down 10 percentage points from 10 years ago.

Instead, it seems that many teens between 16 and 19 are focusing on their educational future rather than financial gain during the summer. And the BLS data supports this theory, showing that in July of last year, over 40% of 16- to 19-year-olds were enrolled in school. Basically, more teens are spending their summers preparing for college applications or college by enrolling in summer courses or studying for advanced placement classes. The BLS says this could reflect heavier academic workloads and longer academic years.

Is one option better than the other?

Not at all. Studies show that summer jobs build confidence and time management skills, in addition to the financial benefits. Additionally, everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone needs a first job on their resume. And remember having a summer job and continuing your education are not mutually exclusive.

If teens are not working summer jobs in such great numbers, who is filling those positions?

Employers still need seasonal help and the demand for summer workers has continued to grow. found that 41% of employers are looking for seasonal workers this summer. And it seems that older Americans are meeting the demand. The Pew Research Center stated that more Americans ages 65 and older are working “than at any time since the turn of the century.” A full 18.8% of this age group were employed full or part-time.

If our kid does have a summer job, what advice would you give them?

A study by America Saves found that if teens stick to a few key rules when they get a summer job, they will build a foundation of sound financial habits and build savings. The first rule is to come up with a savings goal and write it down. The America Saves study found that savers with a plan are more than twice as likely to make good or excellent progress meeting their savings needs.

Your goal should include specifics, such as what you’re saving for, how much you will save each month, and how many months you will save for. Another important, and straightforward step: use direct deposit. By setting up direct deposit through your employer, you will avoid fees for things like cashing checks, making deposits, or checking your account balance, and you won’t be tempted by having cash burning a hole in your pocket.

Finally, try to save automatically. If your employer offers direct deposit, it’s likely they can split your paycheck between a checking and separate savings account. This will help you stick to your saving goals. If split direct deposit is not an option, you can set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account into your savings account by contacting your bank.

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Black Billionaire Shares Secret To Success With Young Black Men

Denver native Robert Smith visited his home town to deliver a commencement address at the University of Denver and gave an interview to KUSA-TV, the local NBC News affiliate.

Smith, who has a net worth of $2.5 billion according to Forbes, is the second richest African-American—behind Oprah Winfrey—and wants to be a role model to young Black men.

“It’s important that these young African-American men understand there are people like Robert Smith out there who can actually be learned in the sciences and engineering and in finance,” said Smith, a graduate of East High School in Denver when it was newly integrated.

He told the news outlet that tenacity is the main ingredient to his success. Smith said he learned to “pick a purpose and to be dogged in the pursuit of that purpose,” while still in high school.

As a high school junior in the 1970s, he developed an interest in computers and sought an internship at Bell Labs in Denver. Those internships, however, were created and reserved for college students.

But that didn’t stop Smith from relentlessly calling the company for six months until Bell Labs invited him for an interview.

“I ran my own race. I knew what I wanted, and my persistence paid off, and I came in and interviewed. They liked me, and I got the internship,” Smith said at an American University commencement address, according to Forbes. “In fact, I worked there for the next four years during summer and winter breaks.”

He went on to graduate from Cornell University and Columbia University before landing a Wall Street job with Goldman Sachs. Smith eventually decided to leave his high-paying position to launch Vista Equity Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm.


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The Issue of Race Finally Explodes on ‘The Bachelorette’

In a clip that immediately started making news last week, The Bachelorette broke down in tears and said something black women all across the country could agree with: “you have no idea what it’s like being in this position.”

 The Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay (Image: ABC)


If you’re not familiar with the world of first-impression roses, two-on-one dates, and fantasy suites, let me give you some background. Rachel Lindsay, a Dallas attorney, is the first black bachelorette in the 13-season history of the ABC series.

Before landing this historic gig, she was one of the final three women—and a fan favorite—on the previous season of The Bachelor with Nick Viall. The next season’s lead is usually picked from one of the previous runners-up, and the black contestants don’t usually get very far. After 21 seasons, we’re still waiting for the first black bachelor.

There are a number of think pieces about The Bachelor franchise, its lack of diversity, and its fraught relationship with race. And there are a lot of watchful eyes looking to see if Lindsay, and the most-diverse bunch of suitors ever, can change that.

You can count my two eyes among that bunch. I’ve been following both shows (and, yes, I’m ashamed to admit, Bachelor in Paradise—which had its own racially tinged scandal last week) for the last three years.

Like the rest of Bachelor Nation, I became a fast fan of Lindsay’s. I particularly appreciated how open she and Viall were, breaking the taboo in their conversations about race. I loved that on her hometown date she took him to a black church. And I wished all of America was watching when her family gently but firmly pushed back after Viall said he was colorblind with a reminder that though that may be true, the world is not, and that if he were to end up with their daughter he’d need to learn how to face that.

So for me it was a matter of when, not if, race would come up this season. And it didn’t take long. Just four weeks in, Lindsay was forced to acknowledge the pressure that comes with being the first black, or the only black, when there was a confrontation between two of her suitors and afterward the white man described the black man as “aggressive.”

I think her tears resonated with black women everywhere, who have often had to temper their emotions as they navigate the realities of constantly feeling judged as examples of their entire race and gender. How Lindsay ultimately deals is still to be seen—or, quite literally, to be continued—but it’s a conversation we’ll be having long after the final rose.






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Supreme Court Allows Donald Trump A Limited Version Of His Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing President Donald Trump to forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to the U.S. Trump hailed the decision as a “victory for national security,” but it’s likely to set off a new round of court disputes over anti-terror efforts and religious discrimination.

The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has stirred heated emotions across the nation and pointed rebukes from lower courts saying the administration is targeting Muslims. Until then, the court said Monday, Trump’s ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The ruling sets up a potential clash between the government and opponents of the ban over the strength of visitors’ ties to the United States. A senior official said plans already had been written to enforce the ban aggressively. But immigrant groups said relatively few people try to enter the United States without well-established ties. Those groups said they will be sending lawyers and monitors back to American airports, where the initial, immediate implementation of the ban in January caused chaos and confusion.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the ban would be implemented starting 72 hours after being cleared by courts. That means it will take effect Thursday morning.

The president has denied that the ban targets Muslims but says it is needed “to protect the nation from terrorist activities” committed by citizens of the six countries. All six have been designated as presenting heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the United States.

The 90-day ban is necessary to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants from the countries, the administration says. That review should be complete before Oct. 2, the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.

The ban will have run its course by then, raising a question of whether the justices will even issue a decision in the case or dismiss it because it has been overtaken by events.

The court asked both sides to address the issue of timing, along with questions about whether the ban is aimed at Muslims, the impact of Trump’s provocative campaign statements and federal courts’ authority to restrain the president in the area of immigration.

A 120-day ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a similar, limited basis.

Three of the court’s conservative justices said they would have let the administration apply the bans without the limits imposed by their colleagues.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to win the legal case in the end. Thomas said the government’s interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.

Trump hailed the court’s order as a “clear victory for our national security,” especially after lower court rulings that blocked the travel ban in its entirety. He said in a statement that his “number one responsibility” is to keep Americans safe.

His administration’s implementation plans, largely orchestrated by White House adviser Stephen Miller, focus on refusing entry to people who are unable to show a substantial and pre-existing tie to a person or institution in the United States. The plans were described by a senior official who was familiar with them, speaking on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss them publicly by name.

But some immigration lawyers said relatively few people would fall under the ban because people coming to study, work or visit family members already have sufficient relationships with others already is in the country.

“This order, properly construed, should really allow for only the narrowest implementation of any part of the ban. It’s going to be really important for us to make sure the government abides by the terms of the order and does not try to use it as a backdoor into implementing the full- scale Muslim ban,” said Omar Jadwat, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who is representing some of the challengers to the travel ban.

The court’s opinion explained the kinds of relationships people from the six countries must demonstrate to obtain a U.S. visa.

“For individuals, a close familial relationship is required,” the court said. For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, “the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not for the purpose of evading” the travel ban.

The opinion faulted the two federal appeals courts that had blocked the travel policy for going too far to limit Trump’s authority over immigration. The president announced the travel ban a week after he took office in January and revised it in March after setbacks in court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination. That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends Sept. 30.

Trump’s first executive order on travel applied to travelers from Iraq and well as the six countries, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic at airports as the Homeland Security Department scrambled to figure out whom the order covered and how it was to be implemented.

A federal judge blocked it eight days later, and that was upheld by a 9th circuit panel. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy.

In March, Trump issued the narrower order.


Associated Press writers Ted Bridis and Josh Lederman contributed to this report.


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Succeeding Against the Odds—Graduating from High School in the Nation’s Capital
   [Image: (L to R) Camille Benbow, Class of 2017, Ballou High School; Dr. Yetunde Reeves, Principal, Ballou High School; Kiara Burnett, Class of 2017 Class President, Ballou High School; Da-Quon Rhones, Rising Junior, Ballou High School; Monique Rizer, Executive Director, Opportunity Nation Photo Credit: Akeel L. Ali.]


Last Thursday, Opportunity Nation, along with Urban Alliance and America’s Promise Alliance, hosted a summit comprising two panel discussions with public officials from Washington, D.C., civic leaders, and students and staff from Ballou High School in the District.

Each of the 164 students graduating from Ballou applied to a two- or four-year postsecondary school—and each was accepted.


   (Photo Credit: Akeel L. Ali)


‘Their Story Tells Us What Can Be Done’


“This is a good news story in the context of a lifelong journey,” Monique Rizer, executive director of Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan, national campaign made up of more than 350 organizations, told me recently.

Rizer stressed that Ballou’s turnaround story is just beginning—there is a lot more work to be done. She also stressed that students were the main drivers of this goal.

“They were committed to reaching this milestone together,” she said. “This effort was led by students, and supported by the administration and the community.”

With support from community leaders in Ward 8; Ballou’s principal, Yetunde Reeves; national nonprofits; and especially parents, the students were able to overcome stiff challenges:

  • High rate of violent crime
  • The highest rate of inequality in the nation
  • High rate of teacher turnover
  • High poverty
  • The nation’s lowest high school graduation rate

Any one of these circumstances would be difficult for most young people to overcome, furthermore all of them. Yet the Ballou graduates, plus 20 more students that expect to graduate in August, overcame them.

In spite of these challenges, Rizer says, “Their story tells us what can be done.”

At the summit, the role of engaged parents was prominent. “Five students spoke, and many of them said that their parents were the ones encouraging them to pursue their education, Rizer told me.


    (Photo Credit: Akeel L. Ali)


Other caring adults also played a role; for one student, it was his band teacher who said that academics come first. Since he wanted to stay in band, the student worked hard in his studies.

Rizer urges business leaders to get involved in their communities through programs like Urban Alliance or the NAF Alliance—which allows high school students to see what work looks like, “which is hard to do without private sector involvement,” she says.

“We need as many voices as possible. Principals, nonprofits, students, parents, and the community all working together to accomplish this goal.”

For more about Opportunity Nation, visit its website.

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CNN Accepts Resignations Of Three Involved In Retracted Russia Story

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN accepted the resignations Monday of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund.

The story was posted on the network’s website on Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting.

The story’s author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN’s Washington bureau, and Lex Haris, head of the investigations unit.

CNN, in initially taking down the story, said it didn’t meet its editorial standards. The episode is a damaging blow for a network that Trump has frequently derided as “fake news,” and for a story that never even made it onto any of CNN’s television networks.

The story had been quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. It was determined that the story was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for a story of such sensitivity, the executive said.

The failure to follow proper procedures is what led to the resignations, the CNN executive said.

It’s not immediately clear what in the story is factually incorrect, or whether CNN will continue to report on the issue. The retracted story had said the Senate intelligence committee was looking into a January 16 discussion between Scaramucci and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev.

The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund.

Following the retraction, Scaramucci tweeted that CNN “did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.”

Haris, in a statement to CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” noted that he’d been with CNN since 2001, “and am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else. I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go.”


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Beefed-Up National Business League Aims to Empower Black Entrepreneurs

Fortified with new ownership and leadership, the 117-year-old National Business League Inc. is getting an extensive makeover for future growth. It will stem from the acquisition of the NBL, a business group founded in 1900 by Booker T. Washington, by the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce. The MBCC will transition to the National Business League and use its name. Ken Harris, the chamber’s co-founder and CEO, has become the new NBL’s president and CEO.

  Executive Committee of the National Business League (formerly known as the National Negro Business League) circa 1910. NNBL founder Booker T. Washington is seated, second from the left. (Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)


Boosting Membership

He says the merger will boost the chamber’s capacity, scope, and scale from 3,200 members to an estimated 15,000 members of the league connected to 365 chapters nationally. Both groups have parallel missions of being advocates for black businesses. Harris swears the new entity will remain the nation’s largest black business organization.

In its prime, the NBL had more than more than 600 chapters before it stopped flourishing.

Harris says the group lost momentum due to outdated vision, no leadership succession plan, changing demographics, and not meeting the needs of the 21st-century entrepreneur, which has been the demise of many historic black organizations. “Our goal is to return the NBL back to its status as the preeminent organization for black business throughout the country and globally,” he says.

Mark A. Douglas, president of BE 100s company Avis Ford Inc., , says the merger is significant because it could help local companies such as his to do business with other black businesses nationally, regardless of their specific industry. He says NBL members in different states might now be able to partner, which will allow them to compete for projects on a larger scale that they may not be able to apply for independently.  

Douglas, who will become the NBL’s new national board chairman, added that the merger is needed because it offers black entrepreneurs a new resource to compete for various business opportunities. “The NBL can, and will, help us to be in that forever promised seat at the table, hopefully before the meeting has even been scheduled,” Douglas says. “Better still, perhaps we can even help to set and drive the agenda.”

The league has moved its national headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Detroit, also the (Midwest) regional office. Regional offices serving members will be opened in Atlanta (South), Washington, D.C., (East), Los Angeles (West) by this December. An international regional office in an African city will be announced later this year.


   Ken Harris, the NBL’s new president and CEO (Image: Andre Terrell, photographer, NBL)


New Leadership Approach and Bigger Board

The moves are part of an overall NBL restructuring expected to be completed by December 2018. Harris says the effort will include:

  • Reorganization of the NBL’s board of directors to govern local leagues nationally as opposed to them operating independently of the group’s revamped corporate structure. The NBL will also increase its board size to 36 from 21 members, comprising of active membership from each region.
  • Conduct an aggressive campaign to nationalize the organization by setting up and reorganizing regional, state, and local league structures under a new corporate identity and national brand.
  • Launch a national membership drive in the nation’s top black cities.
  • Ensure that the NBL focuses on five primary goals. They include restructuring the group to meet the demands of today’s black entrepreneur; move the organization into the 21 century using technology; provide comprehensive programmatic activities that provides access to resources and opportunities; create a pipeline for commerce-driven activity for; and, certify black businesses to meet the supplier diversity demand of corporate America. “The NBL’s ultimate pursuit is to provide black entrepreneurs solutions to solve their business problems,” Harris says.



 Access to Capital and Certification Among New Services

When it comes to expanding membership, Harris says the new NBL will offer value-added services for small businesses, corporations, and organizations looking to penetrate the marketplace. Those services will include providing a National Black Business Registry, access to capital and Black Business Enterprise (BBE) certification.

“The NBL will move business owners from a self-serving, individualistic mentality to a collective and cooperative mindset to achieve entrepreneurial goals in the black,” Harris says.

Additionally, the retooled NBL will have a broader socioeconomic platform for black businesses, providing them greater influence in the political economy landscape.

So what does the NBL merger mean for black businesses in the current era of Buy Black, Bank Black and more emphasis on corporate supplier diversity? Harris says it means that there is a need for a commerce-driven advocacy organization continuing Booker T. Washington’s vision, mission, and purpose, which is more relevant today than in the early 1900s. He added the merger also shows that the 117-year-old NBL must evolve in the age of technology nationally to be successful.

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.5M Intel HBCU Grant Program to Increase STEM Retention in College and Career

Today, Intel Corp. is announcing the Intel HBCU Grant Program, a three-year, $4.5 million initiative to help retain students in STEM pathways at six historically black colleges: Florida A&M University, Morgan State University, Howard University, Prairie View A&M University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Tuskegee University.

“The key goal of the program is retention, in college as well as in STEM careers,” says Barbara Whye, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president of Human Resources. “We’re working to increase retention rates in partnership with the universities.”

This is not an easy goal. Black people make up 1% of the tech workforce at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter, the New York Times has reported, making the demographic the least represented of all underrepresented groups.


Intel’s Commitment to Diversity


In January 2015, Intel announced a goal of reaching full representation by 2020, across all categories from entry level to senior vice president as well as Intel fellows (the highest technical role at the company), Whye told me.

“Full representation” is determined by what’s available in the employee “market.” For example, if 25% of those with engineering degrees are women, Intel’s goal is to employ 25% or higher women engineers by 2020.

Intel is one of 80 companies that agreed to a White House pledge last year to increase diversity; of those companies, it’s been reported that only seven have released data about their progress, of which Intel is one.

“We are serious about this commitment,” says Whye. “We’re one of the few still monitoring and reporting transparently about our progress. We’ve committed $300 million to invest in diversity and inclusion in our Intel workforce.”


The Intel HBCU Grant Program


The Intel HBCU Grant Program may hold promise in supporting the company’s achievement of its goals. The six HBCUs were chosen because they grant degrees relevant to Intel—in computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering, Whye told me.

“These degrees fit within our relevant space. About 8,000 workers at Intel have engineering degrees.” (Whye has a B.S. in electrical engineering.)

Whye also explained that the program was developed with input from the schools themselves.

“We spent nine months on the ground with the university presidents, in conversation. A lot of times companies design programs for universities instead of having conversations with those universities, but we talked through its development.”

Another great aspect of the program is that it’s based in what research has shown to contribute to student success.

Whye explained that to increase retention for STEM students, key success factors are access, awareness, and opportunity; role models; hands-on research; quality curriculum; and knowing how this work makes a difference.

“The program is designed around these key success factors,” Whye says.

The three-year program will also bring professors from the six campuses to Intel so they can engage in annual workshops and take back what they learn to their schools.

Internships and two-year scholarships are integral to the program. Black employees at Intel will also have the option of getting involved, by “adopting” one of the six schools or mentoring a student.

For more information about the Intel HBCU Grant Program, visit this website.